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Floaters and Flashes of light are common visual occurrences and are usually harmless.

Floaters appear as small and semi-opaque specks or particles with in your field of vision. The clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes (know as the vitreous), can undergo structural changes that result in the symptoms of floaters. Most floaters are seen under bright lighting and appear to dart away when you try to look at them. The floaters are often caused by small pieces of protein or other matter formed in the vitreous before birth, however; they can also be due to a deterioration of the vitreous fluid, from aging, eye disease or injuries.

Flashes can be caused when the changing vitreous puts traction in the retina. **

The presence of flashes of light, a veil or shade appearing to cloud an area of vision or a new onset of floaters require an immediate consultation with your optometrist for a dilated retinal evaluation. This is a potentially sight-threatening symptom that should not be ignored.